Category Archives: Missiles & Guided Weapons

Polish HIMARS

Lockheed Martin, through the U.S. Army, has successfully delivered an initial shipment of HIMARS launchers to Poland.

HIMARS
Poland Receives Delivery of First HIMARS

HIMARS provides immediate capability to deliver long range precision fires at distances up to 300 km/186.4 miles and is interoperable with procured defense systems. Subsequent shipments of HIMARS will be delivered this year resulting in additional capabilities for Poland.

«The combat-proven HIMARS will provide credible deterrence against aggression and significantly increase capability of the Polish Armed Forces and their NATO allies», said Jay Price, vice president of Precision Fires for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fires Control.

The Armaments Agency of the Ministry of National Defense is expected to invite Lockheed Martin to negotiate a Framework Agreement for the Homar-A program. Under Homar-A, Lockheed Martin with Polish Industry will integrate key components of the HIMARS rocket launcher on a Jelcz 6×6 truck. The negotiations will also include discussion around Polish production of munitions.

«The development of industrial partnership under Homar-A initiative marks another major step in our engagement to strengthening Poland’s economic growth and security through partnerships with local industry base. We’re looking forward to jointly create a safer tomorrow for Poland and the entire region», said Robert Orzyłowski, Lockheed Martin director Poland, Central and East Europe.

A trusted partner for Poland’s national defense, industry, and economy, Lockheed Martin has invested $1.8 billion (USD) in Poland over the last 10 years. Today, its in-country operations sustain 6,700 high-value Polish jobs, of which 1,500 are with aircraft manufacturer PZL Mielec, a Lockheed Martin company and one of Poland’s leading defense exporters.

Lockheed Martin opened its office in central Warsaw in 1996 and partners with the Polish Ministry of Defense on a variety of defense and security programs. The company’s contribution to the missile programs is a core element of Poland’s national defense and provides vital capabilities to Polish Armed Forces.

PAC-3 MSE Interceptor

A German-modified M903 launcher successfully launched a Lockheed Martin PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) interceptor in a flight test on May 11, 2023. The Germany Tactical Test/Operational Test 3 flight test was conducted by the German Air Force against a virtual tactical ballistic missile target to prove compatibility between PAC-3 MSE and the German-modified Patriot M903 launching station.

PAC-3 MSE
Lockheed Martin’s PAC-3 MSE Interceptor Launched from German Patriot Launcher

MBDA Deutschland partnered with Lockheed Martin to perform the necessary modifications of the launcher to enable the integration of the PAC-3 MSE missile.

The test was a critical final step before Lockheed Martin delivers the first shipment of PAC-3 MSEs to Germany.

«Delivering PAC-3 MSE to Germany will enhance German air defense capabilities and increase lethality against evolving threats», said Dennis Goege, Lockheed Martin Vice President of Central and East Europe. «The recent flight test proves that PAC-3 MSE is ready for deployment in Germany».

The U.S. and German governments reached an agreement in 2019 for the procurement of PAC-3 MSE. Germany already employed the PAC-3 Cost Reduction Initiative (CRI) interceptor in their air defense arsenal.

Fifth Successful Test

Northrop Grumman Corporation announced the fifth consecutive successful flight test of the U.S. Navy’s AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range (AARGM-ER). The missile successfully detected, identified, located and engaged an advanced, land-based, emitter target.

AARGM-ER
A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet carries the AARGM-ER (Photo Credit: U.S. Navy)
  • First firing overland against operationally-representative modern air defense system targets.
  • AARGM-ER deliveries will begin later this year to support Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the U.S. Navy in 2024.
  • The missile is being integrated on the Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler as well as the Air Force F-35A Lightning II, Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II and Navy/Marine Corps F-35C Lightning II.

 

Experts

Gordon Turner, vice president, advanced weapons, Northrop Grumman: «AARGM-ER provides the Navy with a demonstrated capability to stay ahead of adversary threats. This successful live fire continues to prove the missile’s extended range, readiness and effectiveness».

U.S. Navy CAPT Alex Dutko, Navy program manager for Direct and Time Sensitive Strike (PMA-242): «AARGM-ER once again demonstrated high-speed employment of lethal effects against an air defense system target. This is another successful step in our government-industry team’s effort to deliver this critically needed capability to our warfighters».

 

Details on AARGM-ER

AARGM-ER development uses digital modeling and integrated advanced AARGM sensors and electronics in a new high-performance air vehicle with upgraded propulsion and an optimized warhead. The new missile will provide the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps with a vital counter-air-defense capability that can engage advanced and long-range threats while pilots remain outside of lethal engagement ranges. The AARGM-ER government-industry team recently received the William J. Perry award, recognizing their exceptional contributions to precision strike systems which strengthen national security and shapes the nation’s precision strike combat advantage.

Javelin

The U.S. Army awarded the Javelin Joint Venture (JJV) an Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) production contract with a total ceiling of $7.2 billion for fiscal years 2023 to 2026 for the Javelin weapon system and associated equipment and services. This award includes a base year with authorized funding to $1.02 billion and production ramp support to increase Javelin All Up Round (AUR) production to 3,960 per year by late 2026.

Javelin
U.S. Army Awards Javelin Production Contract

The production contract provides procurement of Javelin systems and support for the U.S. Army and international customers. The contract will also provide tooling, test equipment and Non-Recurring Effort (NRE) for the Javelin production ramp that will support increasing Javelin production capacity both at JJV factories and throughout the supply chain.

«We understand the importance of delivering Javelin and its proven capabilities to our customers worldwide so they’re prepared for the missions they face today and tomorrow», says Dave Pantano, JJV vice president and Lockheed Martin Javelin program director. «This contract allows us to continue to evolve with our customers’ needs, while ramping up Javelin production to support the increased international interest for this multi-purpose weapon system».

With more than 20 international customers worldwide, the contract supports Javelin’s increased global demand, including new international customer North Macedonia.

«Javelin’s continued reliability and effectiveness has only bolstered demand for this battle-proven, fire-and-forget precision anti-armor weapon», said Andy Amaro, JJV president and Raytheon’s Javelin program director. «Together with our U.S. Army customer and supplier partners, we share a singular focus – the timely delivery of this exceptional weapon system to ground forces worldwide».

Javelin is developed and produced by the JJV between Raytheon Technologies in Tucson, Arizona and Lockheed Martin in Orlando, Florida. To date, the JJV has produced more than 50,000 Javelin missiles and more than 12,000 reusable Command Launch Units. Javelin is expected to remain in the U.S. weapon arsenal until 2050.

Most advanced AMRAAM

The U.S. Air Force has completed the Functional Configuration Audit, or FCA, of the latest variant of Raytheon Technologies’ Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile. The AMRAAM AIM-120D-3 is on-track toward fielding by both the Air Force and Navy this year.

AIM-120D-3
Most advanced AMRAAM variant, AIM-120D-3, completes critical milestone for operational use

The AIM-120D-3 features modernized hardware, including 15 upgraded circuit cards developed with model-based systems engineering initiatives under the Form, Fit, Function Refresh program, and uses the latest System Improvement Program-3F software. The missile brings tremendous capability to counter both current and future threats and is postured to receive continuous Agile software enhancements through upcoming SIP efforts.

«Integrated on 14 platforms in 42 countries, AMRAAM is the only fielded air-to-air weapon with the ability to counter peer threats at extended range», said Paul Ferraro, president of Air Power, Raytheon Missiles & Defense. «The AIM-120D-3 takes the known and trusted AMRAAM to the next level to meet the evolving needs of the warfighter and combatant commanders».

The AIM-120D-3 Functional Configuration Audit follows a test program encompassing captive carry missions, platform bench testing and a series of live firings from multiple Air Force and Navy platforms – proving out the weapon’s effectiveness. F3R testing continues with the AIM-120 C-8 variant – designed for international customers – with FCA expected on that version later this year.

All AMRAAMs planned for production are D3 or C8 variants incorporating the F3R functionality.

Hypersonic Weapon

Army Secretary Christine Wormuth predicted «fiscal year 23 will be the year of long-range precision fires» at Breaking Defense in 2021.

Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW)
A U.S Army Soldier lifts the hydraulic launching system on the new Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) during Operation Thunderbolt Strike at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, March 3, 2023. During the LRHW system development, the Army’s Rapid Capabilities & Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) implemented a Soldier-centered design concept which uses formal and informal Soldier touch points to obtain early feedback to influence design, speed up development, and ensure an operationally effective weapon system (Photo Credit: Specialist Chandler Coats)

In February, the 1st Multi-Domain Task Force (1st MDTF) long-range fires battalion, 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment (5-3 LRFB), deployed the Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) system over 3,100 miles from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington to Cape Canaveral, Florida during Thunderbolt Strike, a full rehearsal of expeditionary hypersonic launch capabilities.

The deployment exercised critical command and control linkages between U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, U.S. Strategic Command, U.S. Army Pacific, Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO), and 1st MDTF.

Soldiers of the 5-3 LRFB conducted training and practice drills with the LRHW system in Cape Canaveral.

«Our Soldiers processed real missions, with real data, in real time, to produce real effects to learn lessons and generate readiness. We’re training the way we will fight, and our Soldiers are ready to deploy and employ this critical capability forward», said Brigadier General Bernard Harrington, the 1st MDTF commander.

Thunderbolt Strike marks a new milestone between the 1st MDTF, RCCTO, industry, and numerous Army partners that generated immediate feedback from stakeholders on the complex system.

Colonel Ian Humphrey, RCCTO’s hypersonic weapon integration project manager, highlighted 1st MDTF’s rapid progress in building the technical and procedural capacity to integrate the LRHW system’s capabilities into the Defense Department’s Joint Force. «This unit is fully trained and has proven that they can be deployed away from home station and go right into whatever mission they’re given».

«Thunderbolt Strike proved the power of interagency cooperation to build the multi-domain force of the future», said Harrington. «The second half of the Army’s year of long-range precision fires will continue to represent groundbreaking strides toward integrated deterrence in the Pacific».

«Our first battery of Long-Range Hypersonic Weapons is training with their ground equipment at JBLM, and by this fall we will have our first battery of Long-Range Hypersonic Weapons, and that element will be part of our 1st Multi-Domain Task Force», Wormuth said recently in an article in Defense Daily.

LRHW
U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to a multi-domain artillery battery practice operating the new Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) during Thunderbolt Strike at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, March 3, 2023. In Fall 2021, the multi-domain expert Soldiers received the first prototype hypersonic hardware at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington (U.S. Army photo by Specialist Chandler Coats) (Photo Credit: Specialist Chandler Coats)

StormBreaker

The U.S. Air Force awarded Raytheon Technologies a $320 million contract to produce and deliver 1500 GBU-53/B StormBreaker smart weapons, which are air-to-surface, network enabled weapons that can engage moving targets in all weather conditions using its multi-effects warhead and tri-mode seeker.

StormBreaker
Raytheon Technologies awarded $320 million for GBU-53/B StormBreaker smart weapon

«Having StormBreaker in the warfighter’s arsenal provides unprecedented capability against moving targets, regardless of conditions», said Paul Ferraro, president of Air Power at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. «It also expands our production line and reinforces our commitment of ensuring the warfighter has the next-level munitions they need to safely and successfully accomplish the mission».

GBU-53/B StormBreaker is fielded on the F-15E Strike Eagle with testing underway on the F-35B Lightning II and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet; between the three platforms, GBU-53/B StormBreaker has had hundreds of successful operational test shots to date.

Conventional Prompt Strike

Lockheed Martin is partnering with the U.S. Navy to integrate hypersonic strike capability onto surface ships.

Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS)
Artist rendering of Conventional Prompt Strike

The U.S. Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a contract worth more than $2 billion, if all options are exercised, to integrate the Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) weapon system onto ZUMWALT-class guided missile destroyers (DDGs). CPS is a hypersonic boost-glide weapon system that enables long range missile flight at speeds greater than Mach 5, with high survivability against enemy defenses.

«Lockheed Martin continues to advance hypersonic strike capability for the United States through this new contract», said Steve Layne, vice president of Hypersonic Strike Weapon Systems at Lockheed Martin. «Early design work is already underway. Our team looks forward to supporting the warfighter by providing more options to further protect America at sea».

Under this contract, prime contractor Lockheed Martin will provide launcher systems, weapon control, All Up Rounds (AURs), which are the integrated missile components, and platform integration support for this naval platform. The company, along with industry partners including subcontractors Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics Mission Systems, is on track to provide the CPS surface-launched, sea-based hypersonic strike capability to sailors by the mid-2020s. The contract also provides for additional AURs plus canisters for the U.S. Army’s Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) testing, training and tactical employment.

 

A Shared Missile

CPS shares a common AUR with the Army LRHW and can be launched from multiple platforms including surface ships, submarines, and land-based mobile launchers.

Lockheed Martin is the prime systems integrator for the CPS and LRHW weapon systems. The company leads a team of industry, government, and academic partners to make critical progress in design and development to meet this urgent warfighter need in both land and sea domains.

 

A National Imperative

Hypersonic vehicles or hypersonic missiles can travel faster than five times the speed of sound and are highly maneuverable. The combination of the CPS capability, and the stealth and mobility of the ZUMWALT-class destroyer, will provide the nation’s first sea-based hypersonic strike capability.

Fielding CPS on the ZUMWALT-class destroyer will be a necessary and important step toward equipping the warfighter with a capability that embodies Lockheed Martin’s 21st Century Security vision in support of our customers.

Lockheed Martin is leveraging its corporate history of system integration on naval platforms and our more than 60 years of hypersonic strike experience to accelerate development on an unprecedented timeline.

Weapon Concept

The joint Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and U.S. Air Force Hypersonic Airbreathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) completed yet another successful flight test. The Lockheed Martin version of the missile, with its Aerojet Rocketdyne scramjet, capped a program that accomplished all of its initial objectives. It was the final flight test for HAWC, which is providing critical data to inform Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) hypersonic technology maturation efforts.

Hypersonic Airbreathing Weapon Concept (HAWC)
Artist’s concept of Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapons Concept (HAWC) vehicle

«This month’s flight added an exclamation point to the most successful hypersonic airbreathing flight test program in U.S. history», said Walter Price, an Air Force deputy for the HAWC program. «The things we’ve learned from HAWC will certainly enhance future U.S. Air Force capabilities».

The Lockheed Martin missile again flew at speeds greater than Mach 5/3,836 mph/6,174 km/h, higher than 60,000 feet/18,288 m, and farther than 300 nautical miles/345 miles/555.6 km. This latest flight demonstrated improved capabilities and performance. The nation’s hypersonic portfolio now has two feasible hypersonic airbreathing missile designs (Lockheed Martin and Raytheon) to improve and mature in the future.

«The HAWC program created a generation of new hypersonic engineers and scientists», said Andrew “Tippy” Knoedler, the HAWC program manager. «HAWC also brought a wealth of data and progress to the airbreathing hypersonic community. The industry teams attacked the challenge of scramjet-powered vehicles in earnest, and we had the grit and luck to make it work».

Even though the HAWC program has executed the final phase of the program, there is still data to analyze and more opportunities to mature the technology. DARPA plans to continue that maturation in the More Opportunities with HAWC (MOHAWC) program by building and flying more vehicles that build upon HAWC’s advances. Those missiles will expand the operating envelope of the scramjet and provide technology on-ramps for future programs of record.

«We had our share of difficulties», said Knoedler. «Through a pandemic, a strained supply chain, and atmospheric rivers, our industry partners forged ahead, mitigating the risks where they could and accepting others. They delivered on their promises, proving the feasibility of the concept».

POINT BLANK

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has unveiled its POINT BLANK electro-optically guided missile, that can be carried in a soldier’s backpack. The system answers the battlefield requirement to provide tactical units ranging in size from small tactical teams to battalion level, with an independent and organic capability to increase their lethality.

POINT BLANK
A multi-year, multi-million-dollar contract has been awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense to IAI to develop and deliver the new hybrid electro-optically-guided missile

POINT BLANK allows these units to attack a variety of targets in real time with great precision and high lethality, without the need for support. The missile is hand-launched, operated by a single soldier, and can take off from and land vertically back to, the soldier’s hand.

IAI, as prime contractor, has been competitively awarded a multi-million-dollar contract by the Irregular Warfare Technical Support Directorate (IWTSD) of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to rapidly develop and deliver “ROC-X” a version of the POINT BLANK system that meets specific U.S. DoD requirements for the purpose of increasing the organic precision strike lethality and survivability of small tactical teams. IAI will provide the first prototypes and training to DoD for Operational Testing & Evaluation in FY 23.

POINT BLANK weighs about 15 lbs./6.8 kg and is about 3 feet/91 cm long. The missile can fly at altitudes above 1,500 feet/457 m, at a maximum speed of 178 mph/186 kph and can hover or loiter in the air while the target’s nature and exact position is confirmed prior to attack. Thanks to IAI’s advanced manufacturing technologies, the missile can carry electro-optical systems to validate and collect surveillance information in real time, and it is also being developed to be equipped with a warhead to destroy the target.

IAI’s Executive VP Systems, Missiles & Space Group, Mr. Guy Bar Lev said: «POINT BLANK joins Israel Aerospace Industries’ family of missiles, to provide ground-based tactical forces with more precise capabilities to undertake offensive operations especially against short-lived targets. We wish to thank the IWTSD for its support and cooperation in the field of precision munitions, confirming, yet again, the importance of tactical missiles to the modern army. IAI continues to develop and improve a wide range of offensive systems which provide precision operational solutions, and stands firmly to support our U.S. customers».

IAI is both a national and world center of excellence in the fields of offensive missiles, air defense, radars, satellites, remotely controlled platforms, civil aviation, and cyber, supplying end-to-end solutions for use on land, in the air, at sea, and in space.